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Julianna Hooper

Ms. Doar
Honors British Lit
March 3, 2016
Totalitarian at Heart
Governments require power to rule, however, power needs control to work well; absolute
power corrupts the users. George Orwell, a British novelist, shows the example of taking power
for granted with Napoleon and Snowball in his novella Animal Farm. Napoleon asserts himself
as the top boar on Animal Farm, known for getting his way, while Snowball shows mass
intelligence and level-headedness, better for handling situations. Napoleon envelops himself in
power as he rules, terrorizing the other animals and betraying them. Napoleon develops a
dictator-like style, and gives himself the power that blocks any other animal from taking over,
giving himself the advantage of ruling forever. With the leaders of the Rebellion, Napoleon and
Snowball, Napoleon views totalitarian control with power.
The other animals think of Snowball as the generous, helping, and thoughtful leader,
rather than the reclusive Napoleon during his ruling. As co-leader, Snowball has more ideas
every day, including the windmill to generate electricity and the groups that are formed to help
every species of animal on the farm. Due to the actions of Napoleon, the luxuries of which
Snowball had once taught the animals to dream, the stalls with electric light and hot and cold
water, and the three-day week, were no longer talked about (Orwell 49). Napoleon shows that
he has no remorse or feeling towards the other animals, stopping at nothing to make sure his own
lifestyle maintains the same; he wants to keep the animals working hard, no matter what
condition they reside. Robb believes that Snowball is the idealist, constantly considering the

welfare of all the animals while Napoleon is the pragmatist, ready to brutalize to achieve his
purposes (n. pag.). Snowball considers what all the animals want and more, while Napoleon
cares for himself and the pigs, not wanting to give anything up for the other animals. Napoleon
has the qualities of a brutish pig, known better for getting his way and ruling as fierce dictator;
Snowball assumes the role of a greater leader, inventive and quick-thinking.
With the leaders of the Rebellion, Napoleon and Snowball, Napoleon views
totalitarian control with power. Greenblatt confirms that Napoleon has dictator-like qualities by
quoting Lord Actons thesis, Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely (n.
pag.). Napoleon dictates Animal Farm, and puts the other animals in misery; torturing them and
betraying them whenever they become too old to work. Napoleon behaves as if he has no respect
for the other animals, constantly causing destruction in the various buildings, changing for the
worst in the end.

Works Cited
Greenblatt, Stephen J. "George Orwell." Three Modern Satirists: Waugh, Orwell, and Huxley.
Stephen J. Greenblatt. Yale University Press, 1965. 35-74. Rpt. in Novels for Students.
Ed. Diane Telgen and Kevin Hile. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Literature Resource
Center. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.
Robb, Paul H. "Animal Farm: Overview." Reference Guide to English Literature. Ed. D. L.
Kirkpatrick. 2nd ed. Chicago: St. James Press, 1991. Literature Resource Center. Web.
23 Feb. 2016.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Sean Young. Msxnet. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.

as he becomes like the humans the animals hate.

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